Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Behind the scenes of the PZC

Journal Inquirer
December 5, 2006

The Vernon Planning and Zoning Commission consists of seven regular members and three alternates who volunteer their time to evaluate and make decisions regarding land-use proposals in Vernon.

The process for arriving at these decisions involves:

1) Receiving written plans and maps describing the site plan and proposed use.

2) Scheduling a public hearing, during which time they listen to the applicant's plans, hear comments made by our professional staff (Town Planner Neil Pade and Town Engineer Tim Timberman), and hear pro and con statements from the public.

Though much information is presented during this process to give the commissioners a basis for their decisions, in some instances they have to ask questions of the applicant and staff to gain more details or to clarify an issue.

Because several commissioners may have the same question, once one commissioner asks it and it has been answered satisfactorily, then there is no need for another commissioner to repeat the question. Therefore, just because some commissioners don't ask questions, it does not mean that they don't have the information required to make valid and informed decisions.

In making their decisions, the Vernon Planning and Zoning Commission tries very hard to evaluate what is best for Vernon and its citizens. Often a decision is reached which disappoints some people, but to our approvals we always attach stipulations which alleviate the concerns that the public has raised.

Richard Guttman

The writer is a regular member of the Vernon Planning and Zoning Commission.